3 Tips to Help Your Heart

Winter and your heart health

By James “Jay” Reynolds, AGACNP-BC Cardiology

Health and wellness in Clatsop county

Stay active by moving your exercise indoors. Water aerobics are gentle on the joints and social too!

With the holiday season past and the cold, wet winter at our doorstep, it’s a good time to turn inward and focus on our health.

As we naturally find ourselves more confined to the indoors during this time of the year, exercise and healthy, fresh meals are more difficult to fit into daily life. Add to this the stress that frequently accompanies the holiday season and we have a recipe for heart health concerns.

Here are some tips to get you through the winter with a heart-healthy focus.

1. Maintain your exercise regimen that you worked so hard on over the summer months.

Sure, rainy, cold weather is no fun and may limit your ability to take long walks, but it doesn’t mean you have to stop altogether. There are plenty of places to continue that are indoors, like area gyms where you can walk on a treadmill, the new indoor track at Clatsop Community College or the local swimming pools where water aerobics are offered. At CMH, we even have a cardiac rehab gym that you can use for exercise, and all it takes is talking to your care providers to get started.

2. Avoid overeating and packaged foods and opt for fresh, low-salt alternatives.

With the summer months gone, the choices of fresh produce may seem limited, and we all know it is easier to make something quick that comes out of a can or a box. The reality of processed foods is that they are much higher in salt, sugar and fat content. From a heart health perspective, these can all have a negative effect. Making good food choices over the winter months pays dividends with better overall health and feelings of well-being. This is especially true over the holidays, where we all have a tendency to overdo it and salt-rich foods are in abundance.

3. Manage stress and depression over the holiday season.

Keeping your healthy habits, such as staying physically active, getting enough sleep and eating well, plays an important role in your heart health. Don’t forget to reach out to friends, family and healthcare providers if you are struggling with sadness, loneliness and depression. Social interaction is especially important during these stressful times, and your emotional health directly impacts your heart health.


Hows your heart? Make an appointment with our experts at the CMH–OHSU Cardiology Clinic by calling 503-338-4087.


Meet our heart experts

Dr. Diana Rinkevich

Dr. Diana Rinkevich, cardiologist

Diana Rinkevich, MDis board-certified in cardiovascular disease and echocardiography. She has more than 30 years of experience and is recognized as a leader in women’s heart health and echocardiography. 

Dr. Rinkevich is the medical director of the CMH–OHSU Cardiology Clinic, director of the OHSU Heart Disease in Women Program, and an associate professor of medicine at OHSU.

She received her medical degree from the University of Buenos Aires, Argentina. She completed a residency in internal medicine and a four-year cardiology fellowship at the Rambam Medical Center in Haifa, Israel. In the U.S., Dr. Rinkevich completed a cardiovascular imaging fellowship at the University of Virginia and a residency in internal medicine at Jackson Memorial Hospital, Miami.

She is fluent in Spanish and Hebrew

cardiology physician's assistant

Zachary Caverley, PA-C

Zachary Caverley, PA-Cjoined the CMH–OHSU Cardiology Clinic in July 2017. He earned a master’s of biomedical science with a physician assistant concentration from the University of Toledo in Toledo, Ohio.

His medical interests include preventive cardiology and geriatric care.

Outside of medicine, Caverley enjoys running, hiking, playing the drums and writing.

James Reynolds, NP

James Reynolds, NP

James “Jay” Reynolds, AGACNP-BC, is a board-certified adult- gerontology acute care nurse practitioner with more than 20 years of patient care experience.

Before joining CMH in May 2016, Reynolds served as a flight nurse, emergency department nurse and paramedic. He earned a master’s degree in nursing from Texas Tech University Health Science Center in 2015.

His medical interests include emergency medicine, critical care medicine and pre-hospital medicine.

In his free time, Reynolds enjoys surfing, hiking, fishing, snowboarding and spending time with his wife.

Read more from the Winter 2018 issue of the CMH Health Compass.